DEFINITIONS. Mediation is a process whereby a couple who cannot agree upon visitation and/or custody meets with a neutral third party to attempt to resolve the disputed issues.
PURPOSE. The sole purpose of mediation is to assist the parties in reaching an agreement. The mediator does not make a recommendation or decision as to the disputed issues between the couple.
NON-BINDING. No person MUST agree to anything in mediation. Any agreement reached in mediation is not binding upon the couple. This means that either person may change his/her mind and no longer agree with the agreement reached. The mediator cannot testify to the statements made during mediation.
MEDIATOR. Most counties have a list of court-approved mediators. You can usually contact the circuit clerk of the county in which you reside to obtain names of court approved mediators. The links about lists the approved mediators by county.
PROCESS. If an agreement is reached by the parties, this agreement is put into writing, and given to the couple, their attorneys, and sometimes the Court. Remember this agreement is non-binding on the parties.
REPORT. Once mediation is completed, the mediator will file a report with the court. This report simply states that mediation has occurred, often stating the date(s) and length of mediation, and whether a Guardian ad litem (GAL) is recommended.